The head of the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation says business leaders need to change their thinking about competitors and work better together to increase export opportunities.
Mereia Volavola says a recent meeting in Fiji funded by the European Union, highlighted the idea of forming business clusters.
She says business leaders from Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu met and each of the four nations is hoping to target specific industries where the model can promote economic growth.
"For example we receive quite a number of requests from overseas importers wanting to import bulk virgin coconut oil. But if we give it to one company, production is small. So with a cluster project you can get a number of companies together to supply the quantity that is requested by the importer."
Mereia Volavola says it's time for businesses to stop ignoring and shying away from competitors and start learning to cooperate and work with each other for the benefit of everyone.